The upcoming Ford Maverick - referred to as the Baby Bronco until the Maverick name was (unofficially) confirmed - is a small SUV that will share a platform with the Ford Escape. Less a hardcore off-roader and more of a squared-off, rugged-looking crossover, we anticipate that the Maverick will likely share its powertrains with the Escape; currently, the latter makes use of either a 1.5-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine with 181 horsepower or a 250-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder. In both cases, an eight-speed automatic transmission is used. Whether the Escape’s hybrid powertrain will make it into the Maverick remains to be seen. Power is likely to be sent to the front wheels, but all-wheel-drive will be available.
While the bigger Ford Bronco is set to go up against the Jeep Wrangler, the smaller Maverick will be positioned more closely to the Jeep Cherokee and the strong-selling Toyota RAV4. In the cabin, the Maverick mimics the Escape with a similar floating center touchscreen with various dials positioned below it, along with a digital instrument panel and a rotary transmission selector. However, the Maverick does have its own unique touches like vertically-arranged air vents.
According to the latest available information, the Maverick is set to go into production around August of this year, so it is likely that it will be launched as a 2021 model. For Ford fans wanting something more robust than the smooth Escape but at a lower price point than the upcoming, midsized Bronco, the new Maverick is likely to hold plenty of appeal - we expect it to start at around the $25,000 mark.